Do I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, and it’s very possible that you could be one of them.
Many people are unaware that they have sleep apnea. They may, however, realize that they feel crummy throughout the day without an explanation as to why. If you share a bed with a partner, ask them if they have noticed that you snore or tend to stop breathing while you are sleeping. The most distinctive symptom of sleep apnea is ragged or uneven sounding snoring followed by silence (which occurs when you stop breathing) then a sharp snort or intake of breath as you rouse slightly to resume breathing.
Sleep apnea causes disruption to your sleep all through the night, so symptoms can manifest in less obvious ways as well:
- Headaches or a sore throat upon waking
- Daytime fatigue or drowsiness
- Mood swings and depression
- High blood pressure
- Tendency to fall asleep during the day
- Problems with attention and concentration
If you suspect sleep apnea, contact your primary care provider for an evaluation. To properly diagnose sleep apnea, you will need a sleep study provided by an accredited sleep center.
While a CPAP machine is the first line of treatment for sleep apnea, many people find it challenging to use the machine and are not compliant. If this sounds like you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Narra to see if a specially designed night guard for sleep apnea could help.
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